Date Published: 25 April 2007

MRC / Rib-X collaboration aims to fight drug resistance

Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and the Laboratory of Molecular Biology of the Medical Research Council (MRC) have entered into a research collaboration in the area of ribosome and antibiotic interaction.

Under the terms of the collaboration, Rib-X and the MRC will jointly explore the high resolution crystal structure of the full 70S ribosome recently determined at the MRC Laboratory by a group led by world-renowned ribosome scientist, Dr Venki Ramakrishnan.

Dr Ramakrishnan received this year’s Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine for his work to identify the atomic structure of the ribosome, a small particle that uses the information encoded in genes to make proteins, which carry out a wide variety of functions in the cell. The ribosome is found in all living cells, including those of bacteria. Human and bacterial ribosomes are slightly different, making the ribosome a good target for antibiotic therapy that works by blocking the bacterium’s ability to make the proteins it needs to function.

Rib-X’s expert knowledge of the 50S structure has provided its scientists a novel and unique understanding of how antibiotics bind to the ribosome to block its function. Rib-X is using these insights to build a clinical pipeline of differentiated compounds. The aim is to overcome antibiotics resistance which poses a serious threat to public health.

" It is a pleasure to be able to work with people who have such a high level of commitment to the utilization of the ribosome as a drug discovery target," said Dr. Ramakrishnan.
" Rib-X has made remarkable strides in the relatively short life of the company and I am confident their extraordinary technology will serve an instrumental role in our collective quest for a new class of antibiotics."

Rib-X is pleased to be able to collaborate with Dr. Ramakrishnan and the MRC in this important research area,” said Dr. Susan Froshauer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rib-X.
We are excited about the possibility of providing new insights into how antibiotics interact at the atomic level with disease producing bacteria.


Source: Medical Research Council (MRC), UK.

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